“One Out of Many” is a short story written by V. S. Naipaul which portrays the live of Santosh, an Indian cook who employed by a Washington governmental worker. As he moved out to Washington to follow his employer, he saw the world which he never saw before. Furthermore, he had to face to a decision whether if he must defend his culture or adapt to the situation he felt estranged. The short story frequently displays his confusion regarding his identity and culture, because, as a foreign newcomer in plural country, he becomes the representation of his country. Thus, this paper will discuss on how the short story represents the identity problem of an Indian worker in Washington.
The narration builds the character of Santosh as an innocent man who estranged by his new circumstance. Santosh, who formerly an employee worked in Bombay, has to accompany his employer to live in Washington. Moreover, Santosh looks very excited when he heard about that invitation. However, Santosh’s excitement tends to his arrogance, because he expresses his excitement by saying that “[i]t pleased me that he was jealous” (Naipaul, 2002, p. 17) to his friend. His arrogance comes into being because there is a notion in his former place that lives in Washington will economically be better. It can be proved in his statement on the very first paragraph which says “[m]any people, both [in Washington] and in India, will feel that I have done well” (Naipaul, 2002, p. 15). But, on the last statement of the said paragraph, he seems rejecting that notion, because he put the word “but” at the end of the paragraph.